“Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems…”
(Kate Bush, ‘Running Up That Hill’)
This November I turn 40. I’ve never really thought much about my age until now. But as the day approaches, I find myself noticing changes to my physical and mental self (kind of like an older version of that book ‘What’s Happening to Me’). That said, I continue to cling to the belief that age itself is just a number, and really at the end of the day I’m only as old as I feel.
So, I’ve decided to give myself a physical challenge and go on an adventure in honour of the power of growing older, just because I – still – can.
And of course I’ve roped in a few friends along the way.
This week, 10 emboldened women will jump on a plane from various cities around the country, and head to Hinchinbrook Island – Australia’s biggest National Park Island – between Townsville and Cairns. It’s a 3 to 4 day hike along a 32km coastline of pristine beaches, mangroves, rainforest, and hills.
Some have been in training for months. Nothing like the thought of a hike in a remote (sort-of) setting to get you moving. It even worked for me, for a time, but unfortunately that was months ago, and the novelty soon wore off.
Because sadly, some things obviously never change. Like my studying days, when I crammed and did all-nighters at the very last minute, I have left my training the same way. In fact, whilst the countdown to departure is almost over, my daily mileage seems to be shrinking. I obviously work best under intense pressure.
Fortunately, I live on a farm, and I am hoping this fact will save me. Not from the crocs (yes, I just had to throw that in… There are Crocs), but hopefully from physical collapse… and the ability to run from the crocs.
You see, farm life brings its own physical challenges, but in a much more subtle way… For example:
- Lifting a bale of hay is excellent for arm and body strength.
- Hand strength from fixing fencing wire can soon give you a heavyeight title.
- Squatting down to look at leaking off-stream pipes, then moving into a standing position to consult the sky is excellent for thigh strength
- Walking around paddocks endlessly looking for cattle does wonders for your stamina
- Running away from the cattle once you’ve found them because they want more hay, again, does wonders for your stamina
- Climbing back up steep driveways carrying children’s bicycles – and children – after a ride on the ‘flat bit down the bottom’ soon brings out the sweat
- Carrying heavy gear – still carrying children – tones the biceps beautifully
- Pulling out weeds – carrying children – engages muscles in your back that you didn’t know existed
- And of course, don’t forget the workout from chopping the winter firewood
Who needs a gym?
So will I be able to hold my own amongst my peers next week as we climb hill and dale through croc infested dengy fever ridden tropical waters, to emerge victorious at one utopian waterfall paradise after another?
Tune in next week, when Bec H will be back to tell all.
PS – thank you to Dougal for taking the pics. Happily, he found the focus ring by the time we finished. Thankyou also to ‘Soap’, our house doll, for stepping into the toddler backpack at such short notice when I found myself short of children for the photo shoot.